MINI Electric review - Interior, design and technology
Subtle badging and a typically classy interior help the top-spec Electric model feel like a truly premium car.
The MINI Electric three-door hatch looks pretty smart from the outside - 16-inch alloy wheels are standard, as are LED headlights and foglights. The Level 2 cars include heated front seats, power folding door mirrors and a rear view camera, while top-spec Level 3 trim adds leather upholstery, adaptive LED headlights and a panoramic glass sunroof - it’s certainly a smart place to sit.
MINI introduced a facelift for the Electric model in 2021, although changes were mostly cosmetic. The main exterior updates are the inclusion of a wider, body-coloured grille which replaces the previous grey insert, and the deletion of the front fog lights.
Metallic paint is now standard across the range, with the usual personalisation options that you'd expect from MINI. You can choose from different paint colours for the mirror caps and roof, while there are a total of eight different alloy wheel designs on offer - albeit some only available in conjunction with higher trim levels.
Inside the cabin, it’s the usual MINI blend of circular screens, switches and a general high-quality feel to the materials on show. There is also the new digital display from the latest MINI GP Works model in front of the driver.
All versions include a leather-trimmed sports steering wheel with multi-function controls, while there are flashes of yellow dotted around the interior trim to remind you that you’re driving the Electric model. The 2021 facelift saw the inclusion of fresh buttons for the multi-function steering wheel and a revised infotainment set-up, along with a top-spec Collection version.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The MINI Electric now includes sat-nav with an 8.8-inch display screen as standard. The system offers a split-screen format, so you can have specific directions sitting alongside the map - we think it's a little easier to use and navigate through the different options. Overall loading times are good, with the MINI’s system plotting a couple of alternate routes at the same time (the fastest, the most economical, etc).
MINI has continued to resist the urge to move the ventilation controls into the touchscreen – the large, round physical controls are so easy to use and really fit in with the cabin’s design, although the one downside is the car’s digital dials, which lack the resolution or the customisation of rival set-ups.
Apple CarPlay is also available, but there is no Android Auto connectivity just yet. This may change in the future, as BMW has now adopted the smartphone tech and it could well dovetail into being offered for MINI models.
The mid-spec Level 2 versions feature a rear-view camera, while the most expensive Level 3 car has a Harman Kardon audio system and a head-up display.
In this review
- 1VerdictTypically stylish, quick and cheap to run, the MINI electric will put a smile on your face - although the limited range spoils the fun.
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe MINI’s electric powertrain creates a fast, fun-to-drive hatchback.
- 3Range, charging and running costsCompetitively priced, with efficient electric running costs, the only issue could be with the modest range.
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingSubtle badging and a typically classy interior help the top-spec Electric model feel like a truly premium car.
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceYou don’t buy a MINI hatchback for its overwhelming practicality, but the Electric model could be ideal urban transport.
- 6Reliability and safetyCustomers report that MINI builds reliable cars, while the Electric model offers good levels of safety kit.